Reports say California Sen. Jerry Hill has proposed a bill that would stop funding for synthetic fields being built in schools, parks, stadiums and other recreational places until further studies determine whether they are safe.
It also would require California schools to get at least one bid from companies that do not use waste tires in its synthetic turf system.
This “turf war” has been in the limelight after an October NBC report on the health risks of crumb rubber, where it said 38 soccer players across the United States who have played on artificial turf have been diagnosed with cancer.
Many manufacturers and associations in the turf industry support use of crumb rubber. Act Global recently released an independent testing and published analysis report of the use of crumb rubber in synthetic turf fields, performed in cooperation with organic chemist R. William Tilford, Ph.D., and three accredited testing institutes. The study deemed the crumb rubber safe. Also, the Synthetic Turf Council (STC) has a resource center on its website regarding crumb rubber use, including industry news and press releases, new and current research and technical guidelines.
According to a USA Today analysis, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also continue to promote synthetic turf as safe.
Watch the video below for a KCRA Sacramento broadcast, which includes comments from California residents, athletes, parents and Hill himself. When confronted with the fact that there have been no public studies linking adverse health effects to crumb rubber, Hill says that is why the state of California needs to conduct a conclusive study.
As for the cost of the study, the newscast says it will not be cheap — the estimated cost is $6 million.